Proverbs 11:30 the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he that winneth souls is wise.
Numbers 23:10 let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his!
Who is speaking here? Balak, who is a Moabite king who brought Balaam who is a soothsayer induced by him to curse the Israelites. Balak promised Balaam great rewards but every attempt to execute Balakís orders were met with extreme difficulty and Balaam controlled by Godís Spirit for some miraculous reason blessed them instead of cursing the Israelites.
When Balaam made the altars and went to meet the Lord in Numbers 23:3-7 he decided in his heart that he could not curse when the Lord had blessed. He had to face Balak the king but he thought more of the righteous King who could take his body and soul to death. Righteousness of necessity and always the basis of the idea of righteousness is conformity to a standard of perfection. As an attribute of God, it signifies holiness, justice and right doing. When applied to man, righteousness signifies the possession of the Christian virtues, faith hope, and charity; a life which conforms to the Divine Laws.
Now Balaam wasnít considered to be a man of God that was committed to serving him but he knew it was certain things he could not do. He knew that he had to observe to do what God himself said to him, not man; not even the king. He spoke to king Balak what God had spoken to him which was the truth in his heart. He didnít backbite with his tongue, nor did he do the evil Balak required of him. He did not take up a reproach against the people. He kept his hands clean and his heart pure before God. He didnít lift his soul up to the vanity offered him through the things promised him.
Blessed are they that keep judgment and do righteousness at all times. Itís like Satan in Luke 4:4 offered Jesus the same if he would denounce God. Balaam realize that although he got money by other means, he knew that treasure of wickedness profits nothing and righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver man and Balaam act of obedience was accounted to him as righteousness; he was living to live again. It is wicked for a man to do deceitful works but a reward for those that sow righteousness. Proverbs 11:19 as righteousness tendeth to life; so he that pursueth evil pursue it to his own death. Proverbs 11:30 the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
The righteousness of the perfect shall direct their way. In the way of righteousness is life and we wonít find no death there. Righteousness exalts a nation and we can live again here and now as well as after death. Malachi 4:2 but unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. Jesus that Son has come. He lived, lives, and will live forevermore. If we are to live to live again we must hold on to righteousness and a life of Christ. Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the ones that are in authority.
Our leaders can cause us to go to hell! If we live to obey and do what they deem right rather than do what God say we can in no case enter the kingdom of Heaven according to Jesus in Matthew 5:20. Balak out of his evil heart was willing to give great treasure to Balaam to cause him to bring evil treasure out of his good heart against the people of Israel. How much are we willing to sell our soul for? Balaam went out to do but was constrained by God himself not to submit to the order Balak gave him.
Balaam had to have had a good heart and was somewhat honest and treaded on good ground for; when he heard the Word God spoke to him he kept it. He brought forth good rather than evil. His deed was then wrought in God rather than man. Balaam lived to live again. The true him; the person of the heart came to the light and his deed to bless rather than curse the people of Israel was manifested before the king. God was pleased with his decision to obey him rather than Balak. Because of his obedience Balaam received him testimony that set his seal that God is true.
Even we now know years and years later that Balaam yielded his members to righteousness and holiness in so doing what God said; he walked not after the flesh, but the Spirit. We canít say who God is but by the Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Balaam wasnít just a sounding brass or tinkling symbol. He was a man that heard what God said and did it. It was counted to him as life. He became a new creature in God that day for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and trust.
If we want to live to live again as Balaam did we too must flee unrighteous demands even if there is a big payday attached. We must follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace and live out of a pure heart. We must be willing to obey him as to what he says to our conscience, our heart or through his Word. We have to finish our course fighting the good fight of faith.
To live again mean we will as Balaam receive a crown of life; a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge shall give us in that day when we will rise up to be with him. We must remain unspotted before the world. John said in I John 2:29 if ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him. He that does righteousness is righteous even as Christ is righteous. Therefore as he is righteous so is everyone that is born of God does not commit sin.
Did Balaam have to worry about the consequence of his betrayal? Did not Balak say in Numbers 23:11 what hast thou done unto me? I took thee in to curse mine enemies and behold thou has blessed them altogether. Balaam told him he had a must to speak that which God put in his mouth to speak. He took Balaam to another place and the Lord yet spoke the same thing to him. When God speaks he doesnít change his words, wording or message. Itís always the same as when he first spoke.
Balaam in Numbers 23:18-20 told Balak that he should hearken, hear what God has said. God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent; hath he said and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken and shall he not make it good? Behold I have received commandment to bless and he hath blessed and I cannot reverse it. Why wouldnít Balak just respect that God had spoken? Many men think they are beyond God. Many think they know more than God. Many just donít care what God says; you just listen to them. When they command it doesnít matter that peace may be broken but we have to forgive them their misdeeds. Forgive them their misuse of authority and the abuse they may cause.
For best results follow what we know God has said. Balak said donít bless but curse these blessed people. Balaam answered in Numbers 23:26 told not I thee saying all that the Lord speaketh; that I must do!
If we are living to live again we too must obey all that God say do or donít do. With all that Balak offered Balaam he could have treasured up his own kingdom but to him the world he was offered was not worth his soul in hell for eternity. Balaam earned a permanent residing place for the Spirit within him. His life was changed forever. He was a soothsayer but now he was one that told the truth and spoke what God said.
He is mentioned by the prophet Micah in (Micah 6:5) O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beíor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord. Micah took note that he would not offer his life for a moment of sin for the people. He said he would do what the Lord said, he would that that which the Lord required of him. He would do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Micah was possessed with strong convictions. He declared he was full of power by the Spirit of the Lord and of judgment and of might do declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
Micah fearlessly uncovered sin and pointed to the Messiah, Christ. He was a prophet to the poor and a friend to the oppressed. He had sincere sympathy for the down trodden. He stood out in sharp contrast to the flattering teachings of his contemporary false prophets who preached for reward. Micah appeared and called the Israeli nation back to God when commercialism and materialism were supplanted almost the last vestige of everything ethical and spiritual. Those in authority became guilty of the most inexcusable factional strife and intrigue; the custodians of the law abused their powers. They fleeced the poor, judges accepted bribes, prophets flattered the rich and priests taught for hire. All sorts of economic crimes were perpetrated, the plutocrats devouring the humbler classes were going on. Everybody was stealing from each other where trust was hard to find.
Micah refused to conform to the wishes of the people. They thought God was the worst because of what they had brought upon themselves but Micah tried to keep them focused on what was to come; the Messiah. He reminded them of Balaam. Micah was living to live again. His name means ďwho is like unto GodĒ.
Peter in II Peter 2:15-16 which have forsaken the righteous way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass speaking with manís voice forbad the madness of the prophet. Peter was warning the people against false teachers and prophets. He warns them of the things Balaam once was guilty of before God himself stopped him. He was encouraging them to remember that the godly shall be delivered no matter who comes or speaks against them.
Peter warned the people of ever knowing righteousness and turning away from it. After we have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ turn to it again the latter end is worse than the beginning. If we are living to live again, we must come to know the way of God and follow therein, not look back but stir up the pure mind by way of remembering when Balaam did try to curse Israel. Balaam is not there to curse them and they see that the promise he told them of came; Christ was that promise. Now if we turn from Him we curse ourselves!
To live to live again we must remember that Balaam did once teach Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication but he repented his way and gave over to Godís way. He repented that God didnít take his life right then. He no longer could fight against God with the sword of his mouth. He was telling Balak, he that has an ear to hear; hear today what the Spirit is saying. God is saying the same thing to us today. Hear, believe, confess, turn from our wicked ways and prepare ourselves to live again.
To live again we must return to our first love. Yes maybe we messed up at some point in our salvation but get up; repent. If we repent we overcome some deficient part in our salvation. We now can overcome whatever it is that is holding us back from living to live again. Donít fear the things we have been suffering; the Devil bring many things but we donít have to be overtaken in them. Reach for that crown of life; for he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. We are living to live again. God knows our works, charity, service, and faith. He knows our patience and works. He even know when we were last and will move us up to be first.
He knows when we have stepped out of the zone. He knows when we have been out of order. He knows when we tried controlling things that we were never supposed to head over. We as leaders must be careful to do those things only that please God that we be careful not to touch of any unclean thing unaware. We must commit our decisions to God for his consideration. If we are to live to live again we must give God the reigns of our lives. We must commit our soul into his most competent hands. Living to live again!